Eaton to implement R Factor training

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — During its February meeting, Eaton Community Schools Board of Education approved an agreement with Focus 3 LLC to provide culture and climate training for staff. This will bring the “R Factor” to Eaton Community Schools.

According to Superintendent Jeff Parker, R Factor training is all about changing the culture of the school district. It looks at an Event (E) plus a Response (R) to equal an Outcome (O). The basic formula is E+R=O. From there, the training seeks to teach staff and students the difference between a discipline driven response and a default driven response.

“The R Factor is something that has really been around for [different] businesses for quite a while, it hasn’t always been called the R Factor. Essentially, what the R stands for is response. You’ll see the formula E+R=O. What it is essentially saying is, we can’t control events in our lives and we can’t control outcomes, but we can impact our responses,” Parker said.

There are six “disciplines” R Factor training teaches staff and students:

•Press pause

•Get your mind right

•Step up

•Adjust and adapt

•Make a difference

•Build skill

These disciplines are focused on controlling the response to get a better outcome in the end.

“Press pause. What this talks about is there is an event that happens, let’s just say you’re on the highway and somebody cuts you off. What happens? You get upset. This would say to press pause, get your mind right, and see what the appropriate response is to that,” Parker said. “Is the appropriate response to yell at the person, cuss at the person, and speed up after them? No, that would potentially lead to an outcome that isn’t good. You press pause, you get your mind right, they move on, safe travels.”

In his last year at National Trail School District, Parker did implement R Factor training, however, he really believed the training would be a benefit to Eaton Community Schools and the decision was still driven by staff.

“When I came here, I didn’t necessarily want to do this. At Trail it came from the teachers and staff. So, over the last year and a half, I’ve had a lot of conversations and discussions. One of the things Eaton had already identified a culture goal. We started talking about different things and I brought this to their attention. We talked about different things about culture and what do we want,” he said.

Parker and the administration team got various staff involved and asked them if they wanted to move forward with R Factor training and 25 individuals voted unanimously in favor of the training.

Ultimately, the R Factor is a culture piece Parker believes will be a positive addition to Eaton Community Schools.

“The reason I believe in it is, I just imagine if a student goes 13 years in the Eaton school system with getting this type of training, just what a difference it could make. Some students have some very difficult circumstances they have to overcome. If we can help provide them the ability to make disciplined decisions in every aspect of their lives, it can’t help but be a positive carryover. I feel it could be a benefit to every single student, regardless [of their circumstances],” he said.

Now, every employee has been given the opportunity to provide input on what outcomes they want from the culture at Eaton Community Schools and what they want that culture to look like. On March 16 a leadership group will be meeting to build a culture playbook.

The first year of R Factor training focuses on staff, before future years rolling out the training to students as well. Implementation of this training will start at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH